SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A retired Shreveport police lieutenant has turned her front yard into a graveyard to draw attention to deadly violence on the city's streets.
Robin Snyder has erected 50 crosses in front of her house on Ockley Drive to help people visualize Shreveport's rising homicide rate.
Snyder is very upset and saddened with the homicides, including one that claimed the life of someone she knew.
According to city crime reports and KSLA records, Shreveport has recorded 48 homicides and six justified homicides this year.
"This is 50 crosses. When you put them side by side, that kind of tells you how overwhelming that is," says Snyder. "I just don't feel like anybody has a concept of how many that really is."
The crosses, made of scrap wood by a friend, went up on Christmas Eve.
"These are mother's children. A lot of these are young men who will never grow up," she said.
Snyder hopes the display sends a sobering message to city leadership: do more to stop the violence. She wants to see more proactive solutions from the mayor, police department and city council.
"Our officers need to have a little more leniency in the way they are able to police. I'm not saying they are going to be violating civil rights or anything like that. But they need to be able to do operations in the areas where they are having the most problems."
"You have to go door to door. You just can't go and have a meeting in a park and that's it. It doesn't work that way. You have to go block by block, house by house. I know because I did that. I did it for 15 years," said Snyder.
Snyder plans to leave the crosses up until the new year. She hasn't decided if she'll start a new count in 2018.
Mayor Tyler and Chief Crump have defended the hard work the department is doing to fight crime several times over the past year, pointing to initiatives such as Operation Long Haul which targets high crime areas, the hiring of more officers, and partnerships with other agencies.
They have also called on the community to help stop crime.